Organic food is healthier and safer, four-year EU investigation shows
Monday 29 October 2007
A £12m EU-funded investigation into the difference between organic and ordinary farming has shown that organic foods have far more nutritional value.
Up to 40 per cent more antioxidants, which scientists believe can cut the risk of heart disease and cancer, could be found in organic fruit and vegetables than in those conventionally farmed.
In the four-year Quality Low Input Food project, the biggest of its kind to date, a farm in north-east England grew conventional produce alongside organic varieties. Cattle were also farmed on the 725-acre plot, where it has been discovered that organic milk contains 60 per cent more antioxidants and desirable fatty acids than ordinary milk.
Professor Carlo Leifert, co-ordinator of the study said: "We have shown there are more of certain nutritionally desirable compounds and less of the baddies in organic foods, or improved amounts of the fatty acids you want and less of those you don't want".
The study, whose overall findings will be published next year, is the first systematic comparison of farming techniques. Led by Newcastle University, 33 academic centres across Europe are analysing the information.
For the past seven years the organic food lobby has been trying unsuccessfully to persuade the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to acknowledge the benefits of organic food. The FSA says the "balance of current scientific evidence" does not support the view that organic food is safer or healthier.
The Soil Association, the UK's leading campaigning and certifying organisation on organic farming, said: "It is time the FSA caught up with the available science and adjusted its statements to reflect that science."
The FSA said: "We will be getting a consultancy to carry out a systematic review of the evidence, which will include this latest study."
The report's key findings
* Organic milk contains higher amounts of vitamin E, according to the EU study. The antioxidant contributes to a healthy circulatory system
* Potatoes, kiwi fruit and carrots were among the organic produce found to be higher in vitamin C than their chemically-farmed counterparts. The vitamin has been credited with boosting the immune system and helping to keep cancer and heart disease at bay
* Higher levels of minerals and antioxidants were found in organically- farmed lettuce, spinach and cabbage
Frilled shark: Australian fishermen capture terrifying shark from the deep
Devon beavers can stay living in the wild, Natural England rules
Keep off the grass: Research confirms that highly manicured lawns produce more greenhouse gases than they soak up
Winter floods lead to sharp fall in climate change scepticism
The ugliest animals on earth: Blobfish, axolotl and proboscis monkey battle it out to be named least attractive beast
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 Kim Kardashian on Bruce Jenner's 'story': 'We support him no matter what, and I think when the time is right, he'll talk'
- 3 Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...